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Tricks car dealers have tried to play on you

We bought a new GM car in December of 07 and just bought another new GM car a couple of months ago.

I can’t comment much on the CARS program but a neighbor is running into problems with dealers who are not being responsive as the model that he wants is in short supply. At least one dealer is adding to the sticker price to compensate somewhat for the CARS discount which can be done with a model in short supply but I have no other details.

Both GM dealers treated us with flawless respect, no tricks, no games, no key hiding and the like. The reason is that GM will now occasionally send the customer who did buy a new car, a questionaire to report to GM on how the dealer treated the customer. Even one less than perfect answer will cause GM to come down on the dealer to get him to do better. When you leave with your new car, the dealer will ask you to give him a good report on the questionaire.

We were nothing but pleased with the treatment that we received from two different GM car dealers. This may sound like a commercial for GM but it is not, our treatment received was really good. Things are different now and GM finally may have the message, there are other brands for sale and customers do not have to put up with abuse.

Business starts at home. Make them an offer and finish the deal.

I was about to trade a Subaru in on a Honda CRV. I gave the keys to the salesman who gave the them to the person responsible for evaluating the car. After an hour of test driving, and evaluating the car, they came up with a price I thought was fair and within the range I decided ahead of time, I would accept. I told them I would return tomorrow with check for difference in hand and Subaru ready to sign over. The next day as we all sat down to sign the papers, and with my signed check ready to hand over, they informed me that the trade in for the Subaru wasn’t quite what they stated the previous day because the model wasn’t they one they thought…give me a break. I had purchased previously, 2 Accords, a Civic and a used PU from them and they let me get up without saying another word to them and walk out the door. I kept the Subaru for 8 more years and I Never returned to buy another Honda from them though they were previously my first choice…The local Toyota dealership has been much more straight forward and Honda has lost the last 5 car buys I’ve made because of it…

Since then…I never talk specifics of trade value vs. purchase price. The dealers get too technical and hope the buyer will get lost in the conversation. If I have a car to trade, I keep repeating to the salesman…make it simple and just talk difference incl. all additional cost incl. taxes. I don’t care if you give me just $1 for my car…if the difference is fare and matches what I’m willing to pay, as decided by me before we talk, we can do business. They finally get it, and we generally agree or walk but always on good terms.

Actually, a person did offer me $500 for the car (the 1978 Oldsmobile) and I accepted it, but he never came back with the money. I have two newer vehicles that we drive, so I really don’t need anything else, but this might have been a way to get a Mazda Miata.

A Ford dealer in STL, Mo. tried this on my grandfather back in the 60’s. After about 10 minutes my grandfather started raising his voice with the intentions of letting other customers know what was going on and after a customer left his keys were produced.

Since then one dealer did the same with me and I told him get me my keys in 3 minutes so I can leave, that will give me enough time to talk to other customers about “losing keys”.

A different time a salesvampire returned my keys to me but when it was time get serious he asked for my keys back. I asked why and he said it was to let the sales manager know I was serious about purchasing the car. I told him to get in the sales tower and talk and that he did not need my keys. I am not here because it is a hobby to waste time talking to car salesmen. If I was not serious I would not be here, use some logic and or common sense.

A different trick is to get a deposit for the intended car. A different salesmen wanted a $100 check while our credit was checked the next day. It was to hold the car for us AND to let the sales manager know we were serious. I refused to give them the deposit and they explained the car might be sold out from underneath us. Again, I explained I would not be here if I were not serious. As far as the car being bought by someone else I told them to go ahead and sell it. It was a Chevy Celebrity and there are thousands of these cars all over this town, I don’t give a rats rear end if you sell it.

I never talk like this normally but I figured if they were going to act like a horses rear end then I would be just as stinky. ( I know, I know, 2 wrongs don’t make a right but I never knowlingly start trouble but I always defend myself ).

I never buy the extended warrantee anyway but…
When I bought my Fit, I was offered it and I declined. A little later they offered me a 20% discount. I still declined. And once again, they offered a 25% discount. I still didn’t buy it. However if you want that warrantee you can get it for a substantial discount.

I bought a car from a used car dealer that has been in our community since the 1920’s. At one time the dealer sold Hudsons, but presently sells mostly GM executive cars. I really thought I got a good deal on the car I bought. Before I bought the car I took it to the shop that does my work. The shop owner said, “You really didn’t need us to check the car, this dealer doesn’t sell junk”.

At any rate, after I had purchased the one car, which proved to be great, the dealer had an old MG Midget priced at $700. I had to go see it. When I got there, the salespeople were tied up with customers, but the mother of the present owners who answers the phone and does the bookwork gave me the keys and told me that I could go drive the car. She said that they might just give me the car if I could get in it. (I’m 6’2" tall). After I got in the car and started it up, she said, “I hope you can get out of this car, because if you can’t, you will have to buy it”.

I went to buy a motor home once and the Dealer made a big deal that the previous owners “just happened to be on the lot”. The Dealer continued to tell me how lucky I was to actually get to talk to the previous owner.

Well I did not buy but several months latter I returned to the lot and guess who was there? the same “previous owners” I guess they like the hot dogs.

$700? And it runs? I’d grab it. What a fun project. It’d be a blast to scoot around town in during the summer.

Of course I’m not 6’2"!

Yes, it did run, but the clutch slipped badly and needed to be replaced. It also had considerable rust. The floor pans were particularly bad. I was tempted to write a check, drive it home and tell my wife that I had to buy it because I couldn’t get out of it.

Many years ago, I did have a neighbor that sold cars for a dealership that sold Datsuns (now Nissan), Jaguars, and MG’s. He had National Guard duty one week-end a month. He would bring me the keys to an MG demonstrator and tell me that it was bad for these cars to sit for a week-end without being driven. I would take his MG out for some needed exercise so that it wouldn’t go bad.

Too bad about the rust. That’s a deal breaker.

There’s one that just went up for sale on the side of the road by where I work. I may stop by. I’ve been bored lately. I need a new toy.

Pre-1984 cars are usually still on the road for one of two reasons.
1)They are collectible cars that people enjoy owning and would be unwilling to sell particularly for cash for clunkers.
2)The people who own them are so economically marginal that they can’t afford a new car unless the gov’t was willing willing to pay something like 80-90% of purchase price.
There are other reasons but this fits most of them